Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family and a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress, has been facing allegations of faking his educational qualifications for years. The controversy resurfaced in 2014 when a few social media users claimed that he had an M.Phil degree from Cambridge University without obtaining a Master's degree. The issue gained momentum when Arun Jaitley, the former Finance Minister of India, took a dig at Rahul Gandhi in his blog post, which led to a public audit of his academic credentials.
The controversy around Rahul Gandhi's educational qualifications largely revolves around his M.Phil degree from the University of Cambridge. The allegation against him is that he obtained an M.Phil degree without completing his Master's degree, which is a prerequisite for the M.Phil course. However, a simple fact check reveals that Oxford and Cambridge universities do not mandate having a Master's degree to acquire an M.Phil degree.
Rahul Gandhi pursued MPhil in Development Studies in 2004-05, according to the certificate posted by Subramanian Swamy. However, as per the nomination paper filed by Gandhi during the 2014 elections, he undertook the course in 1995, not in 2004, as alleged by Swamy. Moreover, the 'Red Book,' which contains the names of all people associated with Cambridge University, has enlisted Rahul Gandhi's name as "VINCI, Rahul T MPHIL95," where T refers to Trinity College.
Reportedly, post-Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991, in view of various security issues, Rahul Gandhi’s surname was changed to "Da Vinci," and he was awarded the M.Phil degree in 1995. Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor Professor Alison Richard in 2014 confirmed that Gandhi was indeed awarded an M.Phil degree in 1995. Dr Anil Seal, a fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, said that he had a hand in getting Rahul when he came incognito to Trinity under the name of Da Vinci.
However, in a major embarrassment for Rahul Gandhi, the details about his educational background, as stated in the affidavit filed for his nomination as a Lok Sabha candidate from the Amethi constituency, turned out to be incorrect and misleading. As per the affidavit, Rahul Gandhi claimed that he obtained a Master's Degree in Philosophy from Trinity College in 1995. But as per sources obtained from the university, he got the dates wrong, and he also wrote the name of his course incorrectly.
Rahul Gandhi has faced allegations of faking his educational qualifications for years. However, a public audit of his academic credentials reveals that he did obtain an M.Phil degree from the University of Cambridge. The controversy around his educational qualifications seems to have arisen from incorrect and misleading details that he had mentioned in his affidavit. While Rahul Gandhi's educational qualifications have been a subject of controversy, it's worth noting that candidates who file a false affidavit with the intention of being elected in an election shall be guilty of an offence under Section 125 A in The Representation of the People Act, 1951.
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